WASHINGTON, D.C. – Historic Hotels of America® is proud to celebrate the 300th hotel inducted into membership: The Statler Dallas (1956) in Texas.
The 300th hotel inducted marks a significant milestone in the history and growth of Historic Hotels of America. Historic Hotels of America was originally founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to increase the recognition and celebration of historic hotels.
"We are thrilled The Statler Dallas joins 16 other Curio Collection by Hilton properties exclusively honored by Historic Hotels of America® for their unique history," said Mark Nogal, global head, Curio Collection by Hilton. "This is a significant accolade for The Statler and milestone for Curio Collection, our upper upscale portfolio of nearly 50 one-of-a-kind hotels and resorts around the world, and we look forward to having 19 properties inducted by July 2018."
The history of The Statler parallels the growth of the city following World War II. Former Dallas Mayor R. L. Thornton, with a number of other local business and community leaders, thought Dallas needed more hotels and room for conventions. This prompted the group to convince the Statler Hotel Company to bring a new hotel to downtown. In 1954, Hilton Hotels Corporation purchased the Statler Hotel Company. Two years later, Hilton finished The Statler for $16 million. It was the first major hotel to be built in downtown Dallas in nearly 30 years.
The sheer size, bold form and innovative architectural features soon made The Statler an icon of mid-20th century design. It was the largest hotel in the Southwest when it opened, and was home to the biggest convention space in the South with a spacious, 2,200-person ballroom. The Statler was the first building to feature elevator music and to have custom 21-inch Westinghouse televisions in each guestroom and suite. The hotel uniquely featured a heliport on its roof, which guests used to be airlifted from Dallas' local and surrounding airports. The hotel's iconic stature was solidified when the American Institute of Architecture's Dallas Guide called The Statler and the library located next door, designed by George Dahl in 1953, "the best block of 1950s architecture in the city."
Time and neglect took its toll on the building, and in 2001, the hotel closed, and in 2003, it was nearly demolished. Preservation Dallas added the building to its list of Most Endangered Structures in 2007 and 2008, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation chose The Statler as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2008 because of its representation of American mid-century design.
Today, through preservation efforts and the help of state and federal tax credits, the hotel has been restored to its former glory. The historic property gained new life as owner and developer Centurion American Development Group reopened the 159-room hotel and mixed-used development as The Statler Dallas, Curio Collection by Hilton in 2017, following a $255 million renovation.
The Statler Dallas is now listed as one of National Trust for Historic Preservation's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places success stories.
"It's been an honor to reopen the doors of The Statler and restore it to its original glory and beyond," said Mehrdad Moayedi, president and CEO of Centurion American Development Group. "Known as the first modern American hotel, The Statler is a one-of-a-kind property encompassing endless history and culture."
"The Statler was a crown jewel of Dallas that will now once again, as part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, serve as a vibrant center of community life for people in the Metroplex," said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "The successful transformation of The Statler is a poster child for the power of the historic tax credit and a significant example of the ways that older and historic buildings can contribute to the vibrancy of their communities."
Other historic hotels originally built by the Statler Hotel Company that have been inducted into Historic Hotels of America® in previous years include Boston Park Plaza (1927) in Boston, Massachusetts, Omni William Penn Hotel (1916) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Capital Hilton (1943) in Washington, DC. The Statler was and continues to remain a Dallas icon.
"Historic Hotels of America® recognizes The Statler Dallas, its ownership, leadership and Curio Collection by Hilton brand leadership for this wonderful achievement," said Lawrence Horwitz, executive director of Historic Hotels of America® and Historic Hotels Worldwide. "The Statler Dallas is an exemplary example of public-private collaboration, stewardship and perseverance. It is more than a coincidence that Conrad Hilton's hotel company provided the resources to complete The Statler Hilton more than 60 years ago and the owners that saved, restored and reimagined The Statler Dallas have associated their hotel with the Curio Collection by Hilton brand."
About Historic Hotels of America
Historic Hotels of America® is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing, celebrating, and promoting the finest historic hotels in the United States of America. To be nominated and selected for membership in this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historical significance. Of the more than 300 historic hotels inducted into Historic Hotels of America from 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, all historic hotels faithfully preserve their sense of authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity. For more information, please visit HistoricHotels.org